Hmmmm, travelling with young kids sure ain’t easy and finding creative time is proving tricky. We are in a new place every few days and to be honest, the kids are pretty grizzly and demanding. I often wonder if holidaying with little kids is worth it. They like routines, being close to their toys, their friends… still, it is interspersed with some beautiful and memorable moments. Hopefully some of these will be highlighted in this month’s photo project. For July’s writing, I attach my first attempt at a children’s story (as you can see I haven’t got far) and a poem about our lost turtle in France… for my first August pic, this is what 8am looks like in our family… Some action pics to come. x Katie
Down a cobblestone road called the Rue de la Harpe
In a far away land across sea
There once was a tale of a turtle who, though male
Was called Penelope
Now Penelope lived in a cobblestone yard
Behind an arched door to the street
She carried a cobblestone shell on her back
And had big reptilian feet
And despite such tales as the tortoise and the hare
Which depict such creatures as slow
Penelope had claws and propelled on all fours
Was as speedy as a light-footed doe
So one glorious day when the sun worked her magic
And made everyone dozy and dopey
One silly grownup – who could later barely own up
Forgot poor Penelope
The arch gate was left open, the big world outside
Penelope took her chance
With her house on her back, she never looked back
But set off to explore all of France
Her carers were horrified when the gate was found open
‘What have we done?’ they cried
They searched under cars, in bins and bars
But find her they couldn’t, though they tried
The carers decided the only option left
Was to print a poster with a plea
Tortue Perdue! said the poster
With a picture of Penelope
Posters were taped to walls and doors
And the animal shelter was told
The carers’ daughter cried ‘turtle’ in her sleep
Her owners cried ‘she’s 25 years old!’
Then three days later when they’d all near given up
A message arrived on the phone
‘J’ai vu une tortue’ said the message
Five magic words sat there alone.
The carer could barely believe it
‘Is it a hoax?’ she cried ‘or a clue?’
‘Tu as vu une tortue?’ She ventured
‘Vraiment? Quand? Ou?’
Soon the trembling carer received a phone call
Penelope was safe and sound
She’d escaped out the wooden arched doorway
And been found on the cobblestone ground
Penelope had been placed in a large ancient garden
Where she’d met a cat and wandered the ground
It was a whole world of adventure for a turtle
Where delights and surprises abound
But she missed the carers’ children
Their tiny hands stroking her chin
She’d glance at the stone wall that divided them
And dream of the cobbled courtyard within
So when big hands swooped down to collect her
She stretched out her chin for a stroke
And was safely placed back in the courtyard
A turtle returned to her folk
So that’s the tale of Penelope
A lesson for me and for you
Keep closed the wooden arched doorway
Or you’ll find your tortue perdue!
One morning, not such a long time ago, Ellie sighed and climbed down the ladder of her bed.
Her father had built the bed when Ellie was just out of a cot and though the mattress was lumpy and the feathery doona musty, Ellie loved her bed and this morning wished – as she had many times – that she could pull the doona over her head and make a secret world beneath its folds.
But she climbed down her ladder and pulled on her slippers and made her way to the kitchen because today was a school day, and it went without saying that school days were full of musts and getting out of bed In Good Time was the first.
As she shuffled into the kitchen Ellie’s father greeted her with a booming Good Morning – ‘Quite out of place on any day other than the weekend’, muttered Ellie to herself – and a steaming crumpet which was not so out of place and quite welcomed on such a grey, drizzly day.
‘What does today portend, muffin?’ asked her father, mouth full of crumpet.
‘Just the usual, dad,’ replied Ellie, putting on a brave smile.
Ellie hadn’t told her father that she sits alone at lunch, that she stares out the window in class wishing she was beyond the playground and the fence and perhaps climbing the hill she can see in the distance. She keeps this to herself and thinks instead about her Plan of Action.